Supposedly nuclear power plants are extremely clean – and certainly they don’t directly produce a “carbon” footprint, in the way that fossil fuels do. However, a few years ago we had Stanford Univ Professor Mark Jacobsen speak at the Electric Auto Association (Silicon Valley Chapter) about a study he wrote going over all the ways to power America’s vehicle fleet, and the carbon footprint of each. When he came to nuclear power the carbon footprint was pretty large, and he asked us – what’s the carbon footprint of nuclear war?
Given that we’re almost at the 3 year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident, we should amend that question to ask what’s the total impact of a nuclear power plant disaster?
Japan is going to spend the next 40 years cleaning up the Fukushima power plants, and the cleanup has barely begun. The cost of that cleanup should serve as an object lesson for all the people pushing nuclear power on us. Is this what we want?
I remember during the GW Bush Admnistration that, at least once, Bush suggested nuclear power as a way to resolve America’s dependence on foreign oil. During the Bush years, America’s dependence on oil imports grew to over 65% and now, thanks to Fracking, as well as offshoring oil usage to China, oil imports while still high are dropping.
In any case, Bush’s proposal to replace oil with nuclear power is patently ridiculous. They’re not the same sort of power – nuclear plants produce electricity, while oil produces a liquid fuel. If there were a large-scale switch to electric cars then the nuclear option begins to make more sense – but we still have to account for the total cleanup costs from the occasional nuclear power plant accident that’s bound to occur.
Since when have humans ever made a totally reliable anything? Build enough nuclear power plants and surely a few of them will have a big failure, even the modern designs.
Anyway.. there’s some recent news about the Fukushima cleanup I want to record.
|Contamination near Fukushima a year ago|
Construct facilities to store N-waste to get decontamination work on track: Talks about plans to store contaminated soil on-site at the Fukushima Daichi power plant. What’s happened is during the accident, and later, nuclear material spewed out over the countryside, and there is lots of land that’s highly contaminated. There are some towns wher`e people are living, and they’ve mapped where the contamination is, and have signs up saying “don’t go here because of nuclear contamination.”
|Storage tanks at Fukushima|
New steps worked out to deal with contaminated water at Fukushima plant: Some of the cleanup work at the plant site is a crazy system of desperately spraying water on melted nuclear piles, to keep them cool, but which results in contaminated water. Lots of it. This is going to take another 10-40 years of water to keep the damaged reactor cores from becoming even more dangerous.
- Highway design could decrease death and injury risk, if “we” chose smarter designs - March 28, 2015
- GM really did trademark “range anxiety”, only later to abandon that mark - March 25, 2015
- US Government releases new regulations on hydraulic fracturing, that some call “toothless” - March 20, 2015
- Tesla Motors magic pill to solve range anxiety doesn’t quite instill range confidence - March 19, 2015
- Update on Galena IL oil train – 21 cars involved, which were the supposedly safer CP1232 design - March 7, 2015
- Another oil bomb train – why are they shipping crude oil by train? – Symptoms of fossil fuel addiction - March 6, 2015
- Chevron relinquishes fracking in Romania, as part of broader pull-out from Eastern European fracking operations - February 22, 2015
- Answer anti- electric car articles with truth and pride – truth outshines all distortions - February 19, 2015
- Apple taking big risk on developing a car? Please, Apple, don’t go there! - February 16, 2015
- Toyota, Nissan, Honda working on Japanese fuel cell infrastructure for Japanese government - February 12, 2015